Earn Miles and Points for your iPad 3 aka “Buy an iPad 3, Get a Flight for Free”

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As is typical with new Apple products, pre-orders for the iPad3 before today’s official release date did not qualify for points through various shopping portals.  However, now that the product has been officially released, those restrictions have also been relaxed.  So, if you find yourself waiting in a mile long line at your local Apple store for the iPad3, you may want to reconsider and place your order online first so you can get more points for your new toy!  That is, if you are patient enough to not have your hands on the new gadget today.

The best points offer I could find was 4x (one for regular spend and three bonus points per dollar) via the American Express Membership Rewards portalThe Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is sitting at 2x (one for normal spend and one bonus point per dollar spent).  If you don’t have a Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards earning card, then go to evreward.com and see what other airline or hotel specific options you have to earn bonus points for this purchase. Or, consider getting yourself a card that earns MR or UR points so you don’t miss out next time.  😉

Assuming you are in the market for a $699 64 GB iPad 3, then you would earn 3,196 Membership Reward points for your purchase by using the Membership Rewards portal.  If you then take advantage of the current 50% transfer bonus to British Airways, then you have more than enough points for one free flight of 650 miles or less (think JFK to Montreal) using Avios.  So, buy an iPad, get a (short) flight for free.  Sounds good to me.


Here are a portion of the Terms and Conditions from the Membership Rewards site regarding Apple purchases:

As of 3/16/2012, the pre-order and purchase of iPad 3 are eligible to earn bonus points. As of 12/1/2011, the purchase of Bose products are not eligible to earn bonus points. As of 10/14/2011, iPhone 4S are eligible to earn bonus points. ONLY the first two units per order will be eligible for bonus points. As of 10/6/2011, pre-ordering of iPhone 4S is not eligible to earn bonus points. As of 7/5/2011 purchases of iPads are eligible to earn bonus points. Purchases of iPhone iPhone® 4 are eligible to earn bonus points. Purchases of Apple One to One Membership, gift certificates, gift wrapping and shipping are not eligible to earn bonus points. Purchases made through Apple Government Store are not eligible to earn bonus points.

The Apple Online Store sells and ships products to end user customers only; you may not purchase for resale. Bonus points will only be awarded for up to five (5) products total within a 30-day window. In the event your order exceeds five (5) products, you will be awarded only on the five (5) products with the highest value.

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  1. Wow.. love how you make it easy to buy an iPad 3! Now I have to convince my wife 😉 which should be pretty easy. We are heavily in the AMEX MR program and love the 50% bonuses they offer to airlines.. just waiting for Delta to offer a bonus.. waiting.. waiting.. waiting 😉

  2. @Derek, it’s been a while for Delta transfer bonus, so hopefully they will do one soon. After reading this post, my husband wants to go buy an iPad, too. Ha ha.

  3. Gah, OK now I’m ticked.

    I ordered a new iPad last week when Apple was showing 2 miles per dollar in the portal. I didn’t read the fine print for exclusions. But sure enough, got points for other items in that order but not the iPad.


  4. Do you know if the MR mall works like the UR mall in the sense that you can practically use any creditcard to make the purchase and not just the Amex MR cards?

  5. My husband ordered his iPad3 via the Chase UR Mall early this week. i read carefully and there was not an exclusion for pre-ordering. I’d seen the exclusion on AMEX’s website so I was looking for it.

    I hope he gets the points.


  6. @Michael W Travels, if I find an extra $399 lying around, the iPad2 is absolutely would I would go after as well. However, I know some always need to have the newest and best, so I want to make sure they get all the points they can for their new purchase. 😉

    @Vincent Fox, that stinks. This is pretty standard behavior for the portals and Apple, so now you know for next time.

    @Peter, I have never heard of any other card working in the MR portal.
    “To be eligible to earn bonus points, you must be enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program (“Program”) at the time of purchase and you must charge your qualifying purchase through the http://www.membershiprewards.com/earn website on an eligible, enrolled American Express® Card.”

    @Anita, I hope it works for you. When I checked a week or so ago I did see a restriction for the iPad 3 preorders (and I still see it now), but maybe it wasn’t there when you ordered and you will be okay. Fingers crossed!

    Pre-orders for the iPad 3 are not eligible. Pre-orders for the iPhone 4S was not eligible on Friday, 10/7/11. The pre-ordering of iPhone 4S was eligible as of 10/8/11. iPads were eligible as of 7/2/11. Purchases of gift cards (including Apple Store, Mac App Store, App Store and iTunes Store), Gift Wrap, One to One Membership, and shipping are not eligible.

  7. Interestingly, the Amex-Apple portal shop did get me the points for AppleCare+. So it really was only the iPad excluded out of that order. Oh well, live and learn.

  8. If I go to the American Express Membership Rewards portal and clicked the link for 4X points, but I use AMEX SPG card to make the transaction. Will I still receive the 4X MR points? Thanks.

    • @Derek, it could be a Platinum vs Gold account issue. I just checked with my Platinum account. I know that sometimes there is variability based on the type of Amex MR account you have, so that could be the reason it is 3x vs 4x.

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